Injury & Accident Compensation Resources


Personal Injury Lawyer
By: Wensley McKenney

The history of the Personal Injury Lawyer is littered with interesting facts about the U.S. legal system and contingent fee based practices (http://www.glofin.com). While many critics accuse trial lawyers of bringing frivolous lawsuits into the American legal system, nothing is farther from the truth. Personal Injury Lawyers advance their clients services and cash for case costs while funding companies like Global Financial (866-709-1100) advance cash to Plaintiffs against their pending settlements. Personal Injury Lawyers provide a valuable service to the American Justice system by working for a contingent fee which is only payable if there is recovery for their client. If there is no recovery for their client then the Personal Injury Lawyer will receive nothing and therefore these lawyers will only take cases that have merit. There is no advantage to the lawyer accepting a ?frivolous lawsuit? because there is a high likelihood of no recovery and therefore no fee to the lawyer.

Personal Injury Attorneys began advertising for the first time in 1980 when firms like Jacoby & Meyers began to advertise on television and radio to solicit clients. Before this, no law firm in the United States had attempted advertising other than in the Yellow Pages. Jacoby & Meyers television advertising decision was a success and since that, thousands of Law Firms have decided to join in. At first there was a real concern from the American Bar Association that advertising for personal injury cases would tarnish the image of lawyers in general and bring about more frivolous lawsuits. In 1996 the ABA released a comprehensive advertising study of member law firms. In the report the study concluded that television advertising brought legal services to the poor that were not previously known or accessible and that the images of personal injury lawyers were not tarnished.

Frivolous personal injury lawsuits?

Frivolous lawsuits are often misunderstood by the public at large. A Frivolous lawsuit is by definition: A lawsuit is termed frivolous if it is brought in spite of the fact that both the plaintiff and his lawyer knew that it had no merit and it did not argue for a reasonable extension or reinterpretation of the law or no underlying justification in fact based upon the lawyer's due diligence investigation of the case before filing (i.e. the well known U.S. Federal Rule 11). Since it wastes the court's and the other people's time, resources and legal fees, it may result in sanctions being levied by the court upon the party or the lawyer who brings the action. (Source: http://www.wikipedia.org). Frivolous lawsuits are misunderstood because many people do not understand the actual legal process.

The term Frivolous Lawsuits is most often used when referring to medical malpractice cases. Again, the argument that too many frivolous lawsuits are costing Doctors, Insurance Companies and their policy holders billions of dollars every year is simply not true. In most states a Medical Malpractice case cannot be brought unless a panel of three doctors review the claim in detail and agree that there was ?gross medical malpractice?. These Doctors are peers to the same Doctor that they are accusing and it is human nature to be nice to your peers. In addition to the fact that it is very difficult for a panel of three doctors to unanimously agree that there was gross medical malpractice, it is extremely costly for a Personal Injury Lawyer to pay for expert witnesses & related case costs that are required to build a case against the defendant.

Frivolous lawsuits have also been associated with personal injury cases in which the client has only minor injuries. Sustaining minor injuries in a car accident or other personal injury accident and making a claim is not frivolous, it is a persons right. It should be agreed that the claim will be small and the monetary award should reflect this but it should not be considered a frivolous lawsuit. In addition, if a personal injury lawyer takes a case on a contingent payment basis then it would not be wise to take a case unless the legal claim is valid. Jacoby & Meyers was one of the first law firms to establish the fact that a contingent fee arrangement between lawyer and client is the framework necessary to level the playing field among defendants & plaintiffs in the pursuit of justice.

Personal Injury Lawyer?s incentive to bring valid cases to trial

The final reason that a Personal Injury Lawyer brings value and credibility to our legal systems relates to the time our justice systems takes to play out each lawsuit. In most jurisdictions it can take up to 2 years to obtain a trial date and so the Defendant has a clear advantage in delaying or even offering a fair settlement offer to the Plaintiff. Personal Injury Lawyers advance case cost money from their own funds when building a claim for their client. The are not only risking their time but their hard earned money when they fight a personal injury case for a plaintiff. This financial structure of a pending legal claim is the right framework to allow those personal injury claims with good merit make it to trial regardless of the financial strength the plaintiff. Many valid personal injury claims would be given up for financial reasons if the personal injury lawyer was not able to fund case costs. Even Defendants that have admitted liability are not inclined to make a fair settlement offer until a trial date is near. A Personal Injury Law Firm like that of Jacoby & Meyers realizes that a weak case will most likely be sent to trial and therefore be inclined to take strong cases that have a far better chance of settling prior to trial or even the filing of a lawsuit. In some cases a Plaintiff may obtain a Lawsuit Loan from a company to help pay bills until a fair settlement is reached.

Legal System needs change

The legal system in America does need some change and of course it will never be perfect. One change that would help avoid unnecessary claims and lawsuits is to have a panel of three experts in the field that the suit is being brought to filter out those claims that have no merit. This has been done rather successfully in the Medical Malpractice area and different forms of this approach may be successfully used in other parts of personal injury law.

In Conclusion

The Personal Injury Lawyer brings a very valuable legal service to the citizens of the United States, regardless of the economic standing. A contingent fee arrangement with their client is a structure that was formed around the time Jacoby & Meyers began advertising on television and has created a section of our legal system that works smoothly for all parties involved. Many plaintiffs that would not otherwise be able to receive legal services are now being serviced while the same lawyers screen for only the valid personal injury claims as not to waste their own time. It is time we recognize that the Personal Injury Lawyers provide a very valuable and necessary service to the citizens of our society. William Gladstone said ?Justice delayed is Justice denied? and I couldn?t agree more. Our legal system in the United States may have some flaws but it is the Personal Injury Lawyer that improves the system. It is time we recognize that the Personal Injury Lawyers provide a very valuable and necessary service to the citizens of our society.

About The Author

Wensley McKenney is a graduate of Tulane University and has 15 years of legal and financial experience. He has consulted some Law Firms in 23 states about marketing their practices.

wensley@glofin.com


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